I haven’t heard Bandit Rock Radio in a few months now, since their live streaming simply doesn’t work. Guess when my current beloved Nokia dies, I’ll replace it with an iPhone and then I’ll use the Bandit app. And no, neither Apple or MTG paid me to advert their products/services. But the thing is, even if I’m unable to listen to it at the moment, Bandit will always be my favourite station.
This cd is one of the reasons for that. Two of their hosts, Böllnas-Martin and (my favourite) Peter, would play live, every Thursday morning, an unplugged version of some rock/metal hit-song. When those were already “soft”, such as Pearl Jam’s “Black” or Slipknot’s “Snuff”, the impact wasn’t that big. But can you imagine songs such as The Ramones’ “Pet Sematary” or Mötley Crüe’s “Kickstart My Heart”? Yeah, I couldn’t either, until I listened to them. And damn, were those great!
They’ve been doing this at least since 2005, although I don’t know if it was at the same weekly basis (I’ve started to listen to Bandit in late 2008 and found some unplugged podcasts on iTunes much later). And I also know they occasionally play some live concerts, recruiting a third Bandit host, Danne McKenzie, as drummer – which they did for this album as well.
There’s something else you need to know about these guys – they’re not just some radio hosts who decided to joke around with acoustic guitars. They’re professional musicians too – Peter Kjellin is the bass player in Plan Three, Martin Boman sings and plays guitar in Librah, and Danne McKenzie is the drummer in Cable Hogs, having played in Mustasch in a not very distant past.
They eventually stopped updating the podcasts on iTunes, but there’s a section on the Bandit webpage where you can listen to the songs (fortunately, that works). Still, I never stopped wishing for a cd – although I must confess I never expected for it to actually happen (copyrights and stuff). But as a famous red-haired rock star said 25 years ago, “don’t ever give up hope”.
Bandit Unplugged strips away the loudness and harshness of these otherwise hard’n’heavy tracks and introduces to you their natural essence. Truth be told, the soothing voice of Martin plays a major role in that process.
I’d practically heard all those versions before – either on Bandit Radio itself or the aforementioned podcasts. But they were the spontaneous versions played live in the morning show. Now they were recorded in a proper studio, probably in more than one take, with the addiction of drums and some effects even (see the “robotic” chorus of “Walk”, for instance). It’s a whole new and high level of quality.
The only thing that disappointed me a little was that they chose “Where The Dead Ships Dwell” instead of “Take This Life” – the latter being my undoubtful favourite. Ah well. Maybe in volume 2…
Label: Ninetone Records
Producer: Pontus Frisk
- Enter Sandman (Metallica)
- Seven Nation Army (The White Stripes)
- Walk (Pantera)
- Ace Of Spades (Motörhead)
- Best Of You (Foo Fighters)
- Down In Black (Mustasch)
- Aces High (Iron Maiden)
- Duality (Slipknot)
- Livin’ On A Prayer (Bon Jovi)
- Minus Celsius (Backyard Babies)
- Narcissistic Cannibal (Korn)
- Out In The Fields (Gary Moore & Phil Lynott)
- Time And Again (Corroded)
- Where The Dead Ships Dwell (In Flames)
- By The Way (Red Hot Chili Peppers)